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Learn to Sing Jazz

Winter 2012 Program

Courses available in London, England in March. Contact us for details.


Levels  II & III: Recording & Live Showcase. Follow-up programs to the Level I fundamentals course include private lessons geared toward recording a 3-song demo. Showcases are held in a London jazz club and feature four course graduates performing an evening of standards with the Whitney Smith Quartet.

Gift certificates are available for all programs.

Use the Jazz Singing Clinic Song Transposing Chart to transpose songs into your key.


What Graduates Say

Whitney really opened my eyes to what it takes to be a singer . . . how to communicate and give direction to musicians, how to arrange songs and how to bring out the best in ourselves. Whitney is a musician with outstanding talent, contacts and a wonderful entrepreneurial spirit. In short, it was genius. What fun! — Karen Pellatt, Montreal

I’m so impressed by the clarity of the teaching, the condensation of information, the openness of conversation, and the way we were pushed and encouraged. — Marta Grecchi, New York

I’ve taken singing classes and workshops before but what sets this workshop apart from the others is that Whitney’s goal is to get his students out of the classroom setting and on to the stage! Within two months of my first meeting with Whitney I participated in my first jam session, something that before had seemed nearly impossible. This program gave me the information, the resources, and the encouragement I needed to get up and sing. What an incredible journey! — Jen Sagar, Toronto

This course was great . . . presented to us in a very relaxed, entertaining and interesting way . . . an exciting way to overcome the fear of singing and to start practicing.” — Svetlana Rogachershay, New York

Whitney's Jazz Singing Clinic has begun the process of sending many of my fears and anxieties out of this solar system. As well, it has created a more solid base for my new relationship with jazz and the process of singing and learning. — Jennifer Evans, Toronto

Having come from the world of opera, I wasn't sure what to expect from jazz and jazz singing. With his many talents as musician, songwriter, producer and band leader, Whitney has been a real inspiration and has helped me make the transition fun and exciting. — Sepideh Eslahjou, Toronto


Course 2

How Music Works: An Introduction to Music Theory

What is it about music that affects us? Why are we inspired by one melody, and bored or irritated by another? How is it possible for two musicians — who have never met each other, or never said a word to each other — to improvise on their instruments in a way that produces “good” music? And why is one piece of music first rate, and another third rate?

These and other questions are explored in a twelve-week course that explains the fundamental concepts that attract us to this art form. The course mixes musical theory, the study of sound and the language of jazz improvisation to provide an understanding of how music works to attract or repel us. It is designed for the learning musician or someone with no previous experience in music, or no desire to play an instrument, who is intrigued to know more. Either way, the course is for the seriously curious.

Starting with a consideration of the natural laws that have produced the Western harmonic tradition (via the harmonic overtones series), the course looks at a variety of questions that help us understand the underlying systems at work in all music: for instance, how vertical chords and horizontal scales relate to each other, how the emotional effect on us of melodies can be understood through the interplay of consonance and dissonance, and how our expectations of rhythmic unity governs our untutored critical faculties when we hear a piece of music.              

The course is taught by Whitney Smith, a composer-lyricist, guitarist, pianist and jazz bandleader with a special interest in simplifying the complexities at work, and making distinctions of quality, in the musical art. By the end of the course the student will have attained enough musical theory and critical technique to be able to listen to music with a significantly enhanced appreciation of the so-called “magic” at work in a piece of musical composition, or a live performance or recording.

This course is a very beneficial step toward learning an instrument as it give a strong preliminary grounding in theory.

The course is available in private one-hour lessons at our studios in Crouch End, London. £40 per hour. Lessons are once a week.


Contact us by email to register or ask a question,

or to discuss whether the Jazz Singing Clinic suits your needs, call 416-206-1051.


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